HAWTHORNE, N.Y. -- North Salem resident Lois Colley was killed by a blunt-force trauma to her body, state police Lt. Paul DeQuarto told reporters at a Tuesday press conference in Hawthorne.
The trauma, which was ruled the cause of Colley's death following an autopsy, is the reason why police are treating the matter as a homicide, DeQuarto noted.
Colley, 83, was found lying on the laundry room floor of her home by a caretaker at approximately 5 p.m. on Monday, DeQuarto said. The caretaker called 911 to report the matter, the lieutenant added.
Neither the caretaker nor Colley's husband, Eugene are suspects, DeQuarto told reporters.
Meanwhile, police are looking for a fire extinguisher that went missing from Colley's home as part of the investigation. DeQuarto, declined to speculate on whether the extinguisher was used as the murder weapon, cited remnants from the device's usage as evidence of its removal.
Colley, 83, was last heard from at about 3 p.m. on Monday, DeQuarto said.
Eugene Colley, who is a major McDonald's franchisee, was interviewed by police, DeQuarto said.
There were no signs of forced entry into Colley's residence, DeQuarto said.
The lieutenant cautioned that the investigation is still in the early stage and urged residents in the community to report suspicious activity.
“We're still in the fact-finding phase,” he said.
A death with foul play is rare in North Salem; there had not been a homicide in town for several years, DeQuarto said.
Maj. Robin Benziger, commander of the state police's Troop K, urged people with information that can help with the inquiry to call either 914-277-3177 or 914-769-2600.
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